Jul 15, 2010

Day 12, Monticello - New Castle

We woke up at 9 am, mom and dad went to have breakfast as we still didn’t want to get up from the warm beds… Later we packed our bags and started driving. We drove by the Colorado River and got an idea of going swimming in there! So we parked our car and walked to a sandy beach. The beach was very small but just lovely. How beautiful place to go swimming at? Red mountains at the other side of the beach, warm water, soft sand at the bottom… The sand, by the way, was HOT!

We had a blast enjoying the freshing water and splashing water on each other ;) We changed on dry clothes and continued the drive to Cisco. It was a very cheap-looking city which had no other stores than a Liquor Store. All the houses were just broken… We continued driving to Fruita where we had lunch at Taco Bell. The food was pretty spicy but very good!

At 4 pm we arrived to New Castle where we had booked a motel from. We got our suitcases in the room and then went to a nearby school to play football at the field. After that we went to a store to buy food. Can you believe we found Citymarket from the other side of the world? ;P City Market, in fact. Then we came back to the motel and ate some dinner; Macaroni & Cheese and chicken Caesar salads. Not bad.

Me, Aku and Aleksi went out to play baseball for a while, a bit later we went to swim at the inside pool. Mom dyed her hair at the while. Now we’re watching Top Chef (Season 7) and soon we’ll go to sleep!

Jul 14, 2010

Days 10 and 11

Day 10, Las Vegas – Flagstaff

I woke up at 8 am and went to the pool to enjoy the sun once more while everybody else was still sleeping. Again it was very, very hot at there but thank god there was the cool-watered pool to refresh me ;) I went back inside after an hour, took a shower and started packing my things. My brothers woke up and started packing too. At 10 am mom and dad came to our room and we left the hotel.

We drove few miles to In-n-out Burger where everyone except me took a cheeseburger meal. I had a strawberry milkshake. After eating we drove a bit less than 2 miles to Hard Rock Café where we bought t-shirts and souvenirs ;)

After driving just a little while, Aleksi saw a sign and said: “Hey, look, pool party!” I looked out from the window and saw the billboard. “Ahm, Aleksi, it says ‘Ultimate gay pool party’!” :D Guess he didn’t see the first two words of that ;D We drove to Hoover Dam, took some pictures in the freaky heath and got back in the car. Sometimes I really am very grateful of the air conditioning ;) It was 40 C. I know, I know, nothing compared to Death Valley, but seriously you can’t say that 40 degrees isn’t hottt!

We drove and at some point it started to rain, first time in here! We went to have dinner at Denny’s, and without a doubt got our stomachs full. From there we drove 10 minutes to our motel in Flagstaff. (We’ve been driving on and off Route 66.) Mom and dad went to Laundromat to wash the dirty clothes. I went to swim with Aleksi but we came back inside soon ‘cause it started to get cold.

It’s the third state we’ve been to so far. California, Nevada, Arizona… Well, tomorrow Grand Canyon! :)

Day 11, Flagstaff – Monticello

So, today we woke up at 8 am, went to have breakfast and then packed our stuff and at 9.30 we were in the car driving towards Grand Canyon. We arrived to there at 2.30 pm. And whoa how cool it is! Aleksi’s reaction was awesome. We were driving this road with forest on the both sides, until suddenly the forest stopped and the ground just disappeared at the left side of us. Aleksi was still looking from the window to the right side, then turned his head as he was just about to ask “So where is it?” but instead said: “So wh… WHOW!” :D

Well, what can I say? It was just incredibly amazing. How can there be a big canyon as that in the middle of nowhere? Stunning. We took a lot of pictures as we “hiked” some rocks down and had a little competition of who was the bravest to go the nearest to the edge ;P Just kidding, it wasn’t a competition. Mom was about to freak out when she saw dad sitting on a big stone at the edge. ;D

We bought ice creams and about at 4 pm continued our drive to Monument Valley. We stopped at McDonald’s to get some dinner. We got two Big Macs with 3 dollars. Whoooow! (Aleksi told me to write that ;P) We had to change the clocks’ times ‘cause we went to different time zone when arriving to the fourth state, Utah. We went on a drive at Monument Valley, it was so red over there! The sand, the stones, the rocks… all red. It’s an area of Navajo Indians and they have put these piles of stones near trails. It’s some kind of tradition that gives good luck, I’d say but I’m not sure.

We saw West and East Buttes as well as an Elephant and Camel Buttes. And of course, Three Sisters! I know you have no idea what those are, but you’ll see the pictures ;) The road where we drove was not very good, instead veeery bumpy! We drove to our motel in Monticello where mom, dad and Aleksi went to swim and now we are going to sleep! Good night friends! :)

Hey, btw, try saying very fast: “Three witches watched three Swatch watches. Which witch watched which Swatch watch?” ;)

Jul 12, 2010

Days 8 and 9

Day 8, Mammoth Lakes – Las Vegas

Today after an extremely hot night we woke up very early, at 8 am. We packed our bags and signed out from the motel, got in the car and started driving. The views were once again absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful blue-ish gray mountains with a little bit of snow on the top… We drove about 40 miles to this little town, Big Pine, where we had some breakfast. Then back in the car and continued our drive.

We stopped at Lone Pine to watch the Uruguay-Germany football match and to have a little snack. Good job Germany! Ausgezeichnet :D (Did I type it wrong? :D) Once again, back in the car and hours of sitting in there. Though it didn’t get boring even once because of the fantastic views. We arrived to Death Valley which is the hottest place in the USA. The temperature at its best was 122 F, 50 C. Whoa! Even though it was windy it didn’t make it any cooler ‘cause the wind itself was HOT. It was colder in my mouth than in the air, even :D

Back in the car where it was pretty comfortable at the cool air conditioning, then after a while we stopped at a gift shop to buy a postcard, something to drink, a cowboy cat for dad and a t-shirt for me. Yay. After driving for a short while we saw a salt lake and me, Aleksi and dad went to see if there was actually salt. There was! It was actually pretty painful walking that 50 feet to the lake and the same back to the car, because of the hot air and wind, shining sun, sweat and heath. I got a cut between my two toes, from a dried old stick, and needed a bandage. I was very happy to get back in the car.

The drive continued by listening to The Beatles and after an hour or two I heard Aku saying “Aleksi, look, that’s Las Vegas down there!” And yes, there it was, you could see it between two hills; high buildings in a grey color. We drove and then stopped at some restaurant for a restroom and internet connection. Mom and dad booked us a hotel from Vegas, and then we drove in the traffic, seeing all those billboards, hotels, signs, shops and stores, people… We got to the hotel, signed in and got changed. It was about 7 or 8 in the evening and the temperature was still 103 F.

It had started to get dark, or actually in Vegas not that dark, thanks to thousands of flashing lights. I must say, it was surreal and the coolest place I have ever been to. So far. Just incredible. All those who’ve seen The Hangover, Vegas is even cooler in real life! :D We walked, took pictures, bought coffees from Starbucks (I really LOOOVE their coffees <3)

Our feet started to hurt a lot, but I think everyone forgot it for a while as we saw an amazing fountain show in front of Bellagio. We took a video of it. Then we walked back to the hotel, though we bought a little breakfast and water from a store. It’s funny how less people know about Finland. There was this guy who asked me which language we were speaking. I said Finnish and had to repeat it ‘cause he didn’t understand at the first time. Then he asked: “So where do you speak that at?” and when I said “In Finland” I could see from his face that he didn’t really know where that was. :D Yay Finns, we’re famous ;)

Back at the hotel around 0.45 in the night we went to refresh ourselves in the pool. The water wasn’t too warm, but in the jacuzzi the water was niiice. Ahhh, relaxing. We went back inside and now I’m writing this as my brothers are almost snoring next to me :D Gooood night and hey, Viva Las Vegas! ;)

Day 9, It's Vegas, baby!

Today we didn’t do that much. We woke up at 11 am to watch the Fifa World Cup final. YAAAY ESPAÑA! Great, GREAT job! :D After the game everyone except me went to Las Vegas Premium Outlet Center to do some shopping. Can you believe, I didn’t choose to go shopping? :D Instead, I went to the pool to enjoy the sun. I got a little bit more tanned ;)

I also went downstairs to a restaurant to have a chicken Caesar salad and water with ice and lemon. Yum yum. Later in the evening I went to walk around the city. I bought some postcards, a cool Las Vegas Black Jack keychain and an ice cream. Then I walked to the nearest Starbucks to buy my favorite coffee: Iced Coffee Mocha. Delicious. I walked back to the hotel and noticed that my brothers had come back from shopping. Aleksi bought two caps and flipflops, Aku got three pairs of shoes, mom came back to the hotel with shorts, a top and a t-shirt and dad had bought two t-shirts.

I wrote the postcards and we went downstairs to put them into a mailbox. Now we are at the pool, I’m writing this text as dad’s in the Jacuzzi and mom’s watching Aku and Aleksi playing Pukkitaistelu. You know, the game where two people are standing on the edge of something (in this case a swimming pool) and trying to make the other fall down. I guess either Aku or Aleksi won since Aleksi just run away :D

Ahh… I really enjoyed the time in Vegas, I’ll never forget these lights. Tomorrow is a day full of driving and standing mouth open at the edge of Grand Canyon… ;)

Days 6 and 7

Day 6, San Francisco!

We woke up in the hotel around 9 am, got dressed and went downstairs to see if the breakfast was free or not. Unfortunately it wasn’t free, we would’ve had to pay 10 dollars each to get that so instead we went out for breakfast at In-n-out Burger. We ordered cheeseburgers and small cokes, then waited for 5 minutes and the order was ready. Not a bad breakfast, in fact, it was really good! Aku thought it was the best burger he had eaten, so far ;)

So, after eating mom and dad came to pick us up and we drove about 40-50 minutes to San Francisco. We bought tickets to a ferry which left at 1.15 pm. It went round Alcatraz (which is an old prison in an island, from couple of movies, one of them named The Rock) and under the world famous Golden Gate. It was really, really cold and windy at the ferry but seeing Golden Gate was absolutely fantastic. We got great photos, with not so good hair in them thanks to the wind ;D. The ferry thing was a really nice one, I recommend. It took an hour.

After that we went to Hard Rock Café. Aku bought a t-shirt and I bought a hoodie. So, then we met Paul and drove over the Golden Gate to Sausalito. There we had some lunch/dinner and then we drove back to the other side of the bridge. In traffic. We drove for a while at the hills and saw these beautiful houses on the up-and-down streets, it was just like from the movies.

Paul went already at his home as we bought coffees from Starbucks. I went to buy some postcards and at the store there was this guy who was very willing to give me a bonus. “Buy those postcards and you get a free boyfriend!” Heheh :D I had hard time trying not to laugh as another guy came down and the first guy said that his friend was ugly but needed a girlfriend, or wait, “No, he needs a boyfriend, I’m sorry, take him to Finland with you and he will get a boyfriend!” he said after I told him I wasn’t from here. Uhm.., thanks but no thanks :D

We drove back to Paul’s house and the boys started playing Wii. We stayed at their place for a couple of hours and took some pictures from the adorable baby Jonathan who was sleeping. So cute. Then it was time to say goodbye as dad took us back to the hotel. Maybe one day I’ll come here to study in a university and I’ll get to see Paul, Bin Bin and Jonathan more often :) They already recommended me a university, one that wouldn’t be far away! We’ll see how things work out ;)

Tomorrow we’ll start driving towards a place called Las Vegas. Wonder if anyone has heard about it before…? I’ve heard people there like to gamble, but I’m not sure if that’s just a rumor.. What do you guys think? ;)

Day 7, San José – Mammoth lakes

This morning we woke up at 10 am and an hour or two later went to In-n-out Burger for a breakfast/early lunch while mom and dad went to buy a map of California. At 12.30 we got in the car and drove towards Yosemite national park. After driving a couple of hours Aleksi really wanted to go to the bathroom so we stopped by a restaurant. The temperature was 94 F, which is about 35 Celcius degrees. It was really a lot more comfortable staying at the car with cool air conditioning than standing outside the car with that kind of heath.

We continued driving and an hour later went to eat. I must say that all this fast food is making me feel gross.. and I’ve only been here for a week! We must find healthier food places which have like salads, fruits and stuff…

The temperature was around 100 F when we got back in the car and drove to Yosemite national park. We drove through it and saw absolutely spectacular views. All those trees, rocks, big stones, lakes, mountains, fields, dears… We were 9000 feet high, that’s 2500 meters. The pictures we took are fantastic. Not something you see every day in Finland. Not even every second day. ;)

Then we… saw a BEAR running across the road!! Or wait, I didn’t see it because I was sitting on the back seat -.- How great. We didn’t catch it on camera but especially Aleksi told me how cool it was to see a bear and how he has now seen one of the two things he has always wanted to see. How those who have never seen a bear are missing a lot and how he’s now a great guy as he’s seen one. How polite little brother do I have? ;)

Hm, then we got to the motel, mom and dad went to a grocery store and Aleksi and I went swimming. I actually didn’t swim but Aleksi did. We went back to our room and took showers. Our parents came back and we ate some supper as watching baseball. Now we’re going to sleep. Good night people! :)